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Tapping performance and underlying wrist muscle activity of non-drummers, drummers, and the world's fastest drummer

Laboratory of Human Motor Control, Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Yoshida-nihonmatsu-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.
Neuroscience Letters (Impact Factor: 2.06). 06/2009; 459(2):69-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.04.055
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Studies of rapid unimanual tapping have assumed that the human rate limit for voluntary rhythmic movement is 5-7 Hz, which corresponds to an inter-tap interval (ITI) of 150-200ms. In fact, the winner of a recent contest to find the world's fastest drummer (WFD) can perform such movements using a handheld drumstick at 10 Hz, which corresponds to an ITI of 100 ms. Because the contest measured only the number of taps by the WFD, we examined the stability of the ITI and the underlying wrist muscle activity of the WFD. By comparing the performance and wrist muscle activity of the WFD with those of two control groups (non-drummers (NDs) and ordinary skilled drummers (ODs)), we found that the WFD had a relatively stable ITI and more pronounced reciprocal wrist muscle activity during the 10-Hz performance. Our result indicates that very fast, stable tapping performance can be achieved by keeping the wrist joint compliant rather than stiff.

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    • "Training dependent neuroplasticity would also yield different organization of arm movements when comparing pianists, violinists, and cellists (Furuya and Kinoshita, 2007; Konczak et al., 2009; Verrel et al., 2013). By contrast, efficient muscular force production observed for both pianists and drummers (Fujii et al., 2009; Fujii and Moritani, 2012a,b) rather strengthens the idea that prolonged repetitive motions elicit neuroplastic changes that economize movements. Finally, to elaborate the understanding of control principles behind complex motor behaviors in piano playing, a computational approach that compares prediction of modeling with observed movements would be necessary (Kawato, 1999; Shadmehr and Krakauer, 2008; Kalveram and Seyfarth, 2009). "
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    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 07/2013; 7:173. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00173 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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    • "Studying musical performance therefore provides a good opportunity to probe into how the nervous system skillfully orchestrates a redundant number of degrees of freedom (DOFs) of the motor system to achieve artistic musical expression. Previous studies have extensively investigated repetitive hand movements during musical performance or more simplified tasks (Parlitz et al., 1998; Aoki et al., 2005; Goebl and Palmer, 2008; Fujii et al., 2009a,b; Loehr and Palmer, 2009; Palmer et al., 2009; Furuya and Soechting, 2010). Some of these studies have delineated differences in the characteristics of force exerted by digits (Parlitz et al., 1998; Aoki et al., 2005) and in the activities of extrinsic finger muscles (Fujii et al., 2009a,b) between musicians and non-musicians. "
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    • "Appropriate temporal separation between agonist and antagonist activation of muscles has been observed for well-controlled voluntary movements (Fujii et al., 2009). In clinical situations, however, this separation is attenuated, muscle coactivation is increased, and motor control becomes poor (Dierick et al., 2002). "
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